Despite (US) government data confirming the existence of a significant bisexual population, sexual health issues affecting bisexuals and those who have sex with both men and women but do not identify as bisexual have been largely ignored and under-represented in academic and professional literature. Existing research shows that many bisexuals have negative experiences with health care providers, whether it is because they are afraid to come out to their providers or because their providers give them improper or incomplete information on HIV/STI prevention.
According to a recent analysis of data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, which was sponsored by the Center for Disease Control, 1.8 percent of men and 2.8 percent of women ages 18 to 44 identify as bisexual. Additionally, 12.9 percent of women and 5.9 percent of men ages 18 to 44 said they were attracted to both sexes.
Working together, BiNet USA, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force & Fenway Community Health have produced a new groundbreaking report on aspects of health concern's to the bisexual community, entitled Bisexual health: An introduction and model practices for HIV/STI prevention programming which was released in March 2007.
In the first half of the report, sex educator Amy André provides an introduction to the topic of bisexuality, which is followed by a brief review of available academic literature on issues affecting the health of bisexuals, with a focus on HIV and STI prevention.
The second half of the report outlines the work of Marshall Miller and Julie Ebin at the BiHealth Program at Fenway Community Health in Boston Massachusetts USA, highlighting model policies and practices that health care providers and activists can replicate around the country.
Additionally BiNet USA is now hosting the Bi Health Timeline. This Timeline, which originally started as part of the Bi Health Report, is meant to be a living document. People are encouraged to send proposed changes, updates and additions to BiHealth (at) BiNetUSA (dot) Org for review and inclusion.
Please also be aware of these two Mental Health and General Health professional organizations of interest to the Bisexual Community.
Bi Mental Health Professionals Association: The purpose of the Bisexual Mental Health Professionals Association's ListServ is to provide a forum for support and networking opportunities, reduce isolation and disseminate bi resources for mental health providers, clients and patients and materials for educating/training other mental health professionals about issues bisexual people face and guidelines for clinical practice. This association includes Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Social Workers, Counselors, Psychotherapists, HIV Counselors, Sex Therapists and Sexuality Researchers.
To join this ListServ please send an email to: BiMHP-subscribe (at) yahoogroups (dot) com
Bi Health Network: The Bi Health Network is a low traffic ListServ for HIV/AIDS and General Health issues as relates to the Bisexual Community. This list is for Bi Health professionals, as well as other individuals who are either working or interested in Health issues as relate to the Bisexual Community. While working with the Bisexual Community is our focal point, this group will also deal with issues relating to intervention strategies in working with Men who have Sex with Men (MSMW) and Women and Women who have Sex with Women and Men (WSWM) but don't identify as gay/queer or bisexual.
It is hoped that this list will become a vehicle for information through its discussions and archives, in providing better mechanisms in making outreach and providing education with these communities of people.
To join this ListServ please send an email to: BiHealth-subscribe (at) yahoogroups (dot) com